Posted 5d ago by @Serrahhhh

What to do with this yard….?
Hey Greg - I need help…

Over the last 2.5 years of me living in my home I’ve had issues with any living plants, including grass, in my tiny backyard. I’ve had it sodded three times, I’ve laid two different types of grass seed twice, and even rototilled it with fresh dirt and mulch and fertilizer THEN mixed the seed in. NOTHING had worked. I’ve had the soil tested and they say it’s fine.

SO, I’ve given up on grass being an option. But what do I do to make it an enjoyable space? I don’t want a full rock yard. I’m willing to completely change the setup though, within reason/budget.

Plants? Water fixture (cheap)? Different rocks? Anything!

Please help! ♥️ #OutdoorGrowing #HappyPlants #PlantsMakePeopleHappy #PlantAddict #NewGrowth #PetsAndPlants #PlantTherapy #PlantCorner #BeforeAndAfter #DIYPlanter #PestControl #PlantGraveyard #PlantLover #GregGang #GregFeedback #GregCommunity #PlantAddict #PLANTMAFIA #TexasGregGang #CentralTexasGang
Depending on what look you're going for you could try a ground cover juniper or some other hardy evergreen. My grandfather had them all over his yard when I was little. They stay low and just spread out over time.

The other thing I would suggest is visiting your local nursery to ask about what native plants might work well for you. Tell them what you've done to your yard and they can suggest plants that are suitable for your local climate that might be able to live in your soil conditions.
Get you some bricks or whatever borders you want. If you want it raised, you'll need some landscaping fabric. Get LOTS of soil, mix in compost, manure, or whatever fertilizer you prefer. Place your plants, then lay down some mulch. Add some little decor, like stone mushrooms, a birdbath, or what you prefer. Boom! Instant flower bed. If you're going to have it level, you'll probably need to till that soil. Looks very compacted, and the grass has been there. A tiller will help break all that up and make it easier for you to use. Good luck!
I was going to suggest something crawling like @tmbryant37. I was thinking a mint because it smells yummy. I would suggest looking into native plants/grasses in your area.

Another option, though I have no idea how you'd go about it, would be natural mulch like pine needles. My family has a house on a pond and instead of grass they just leave all the pine needles that fall and it's super soft to walk on 🤷🏽
@sarahsalith @Colin do y'all have ideas for outside spaces ?
I like the stone walkway! That’s so frustrating with the constant cycle of replanting. You might consider some native plants. Here are a few I’ve been looking at:

- Hill country sedge - carex perdentata
- Silver Spurge - succulent like, flowers in spring - cool season growth cycle
- Dioon angustifolium -
- Giant prairie lily, rain lily (great cactus companion) zephyranthes drummondii
I’d think you could make this into a succulent garden, with mulch or rocks in between plants. Not 100% sure if succulents do well outdoors in Austin but I’d think they would! For inspiration you can check out:
@Serrahhhh if you I want the nice green grass appearance, then they do have per friendly ASTRO turf!! No muddy paws etc...they you can do some nice plants in decorative pots
Do you think you could use succulents? It looks hot and dry, which succulents would love. You could put some in huge planters for some height and use others as ground covers. Many sedums make great ground covers. I’m in a very different climate than you are, but I think sedums as a ground cover would be beautiful. Maybe get a couple of large, interesting rocks and build a rock garden around them with hardy sedums, sempervivums, and any succulents that would survive your winters. Some large plants like agave could also add height and texture. Honestly, I’m seeing tons of possibilities and no grass! 😁

Jennifer!! Could you share some pictures of your front "flower beds"? I think that might be a good option for @Serrahhhh ... I THINK we're in similar zones.
I have a fake grass section with edge flower and shrub beds in a similar sized space
If Jennifer is busy, I might get out and snap some pictures of her yard this week: it's amazing! She has so many plants and her flower beds are gravel and rocks! Y'all wouldn't even have to cut the grass!!
Be careful with mint. It's very invasive. Best to grow those in containers.
@sarahsalith no mowing that sounds like my kind of yard!!! Lol
I’d make it ALL flowers!!! Perennials yeyyyy
Possibilities are endless 😍 I would get some things to hang on the wood fencing for booku amount of plants🤩
I don’t really have any suggestions for your yard….I’m just loving your doggy! He/she has gorgeous markings. I love brindle. 🐾🐶
Fido needs a grass patch. 💗 I would look into understanding what your time restrictions are before planting anything. Grass is one of those things that you need to water every so often and you need to keep mowed to reduce thatch so it doesn’t smother the turf which it looks like this could be part of the reason why your previous turf didn’t make it. If you don’t have time to water it mow regularly during the growing season, then succulents are good… however, most are poisonous and your pet may get into them. 😕 I would plant a few perennials and add a drip irrigation or micro irrigation system that works via hose-end if you have a spigot to help your plants stay hydrated. You can also add micro sprayers for the sod so it can be watered occasionally and kept healthy. Zoysia does best in Texas. Just keep your turf mowed and never cut off more than 1/3 the height or you’ll have too much thatch which will require much more work to get rid of.

I would also be inclined to hang some of those cafe lights on the fence so you have something to illuminate that back end of the fence and if you can, add a small water feature that you can plug in for ambient sound.

I think your backyard would look amazing!

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